Hello again FCPA members! As a reminder, my name is Ron Watson and I was recently hired to represent the FCPA before both the Legislature and the Board of Chiropractic Medicine. I have learned a lot about your profession already and am excited to learn more so I can effectively keep fighting for you.

August 29th, 2018

Elections are always interesting in Florida


Elections are always interesting in Florida and last nights primary was another example. The field has been narrowed and there are no more excuses for sitting on the sidelines. Get out and get involved! Also reach out to the below winners and congratulate them on their victory! 

Governor:
Progressive Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) shocked the establishment by winning the D Governor primary w 34% to Gwen Graham 31%. Cong. Ron DeSantis (R) defeated Arg/Consumer Adam Putnam 57% to 43% to win the R Governor primary. Bernie Sanders helped Gillum win and Pres. Donald Trump helped DeSantis. Needless to say, it will be another interesting general election in Florida! 

Cabinet:
Attorney General = Ashley Moody (R) vs Sean Shaw (D)
Arg/Consumer = Matt Caldwell (R) vs Nikki Fried (D)
CFO = Jimmy Patronis (R) vs Jermery Ring (D)

2 Incumbents lost:
Two sitting legislators lost in the primary from Miami-Dade and there is no general for either; Sen. Daphne Campbell (D) lost in district 38 to new Senator Jason Pizzo and Rep. Roy Hardemon (D) in district 108 lost to new Rep. Dotie Joseph.

Re-elected after primary:
Sen. Bobby Powell (D) (Still has a WRI) - West Palm Beach, district 30
Sen. Gary Farmer (D) (Still have WRI) - Ft. Lauderdale, district   
Rep. Kimberly Daniels (D) - Jacksonville, district 14
Rep. Wengay "Newt" Newton (D) - St. Pete, district 70
Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams (D) - Ft Lauderdale, district 92
Rep. Kristin Jacobs (D) - Coconut Creek, district 96
Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D) - Coral Springs, district 97

Newly elected after primary:

Sen. Jason Pizzo (D) - Miami Dade, district 38
Rep. Alex Andrade (R) - Pensacola, district 2
Rep. Melony Bell (R) (Still have WRI) - Bartow, district 56
Rep. Dianne Hart (D) (Still have WRI) - Tampa, district 61
Rep. Susan Valdes (D) (Still have WRI) - Tampa, district 62
Rep. Tina Polsky (D) - Boco Raton, district 81
Rep. Dotie Joseph (D) - Miami, district 108
Rep. James Bush III (D) - Opa Locka, district 109


August 15th, 2018

All I have to say is the FCPA rocks!!

Another great meeting in Orlando and another awesome opportunity to speak with so many Chiropractic Physicians in person. It always re-energizes me to be around so many professionals coming together to continue their education and talk about the future.

Let's get some laws changed in 2019, so let's start planning yesterday.

By the time of the Ft. Lauderdale FCPA conference in November, the elections will be over and we will know all 120 House members and 40 Senators. Will you have contacted any of the winners between now and then?!? Did you help in their campaign by writing checks or donating sweat equity?!!? Have you talked to them about our push for proper nutrition, i.e. "Vitamin C is Vitamin C No Matter How You Take It"?!!? 

Remember, we need to build the FCPA nutritional education army one solider at a time and we need hand-to-hand combat at the local level, NOW. The Primary election is August 28 and the General Election is November 6. Get involved yesterday and tell me how you rocked it when we meet again in Ft. Lauderdale!!!



July 23rd, 2018

Primaries are heating up!


Damn it's hot! As the summer temperatures rise, so does the heat in primary campaign season. This is your lobbyists fair warning on the non-stop advertising and direct mail coming your way.

In just over a month, the major parties will choose who will represent them in the November elections. There are 5 Ds (Graham, Levine, Green, Gillum and King) and 2 Rs (Putnam and DeSantis) running for Governor. Several other statewide Cabinet Posts, including Attorney General and Agriculture/Consumer Services have hotly contested primary races. Many, many legislative offices as well may be all but decided after the primary. Who will come out on top?!? More importantly, who is good for Chiropractic advancement?!!? Do you even know? Do you care?

Tuesday, August 28th is the official day to vote in the primary, but early voting can begin up to two weeks beforehand depending upon where you live. Make sure your are registered to vote by July 31st if you want to participate in the primary elections. However, in Florida's closed primary system, Independent(s) or NPA (No Party Affiliation) registered voters are not allowed to vote in the primary. (I agree, that is total BS!)

As the ole Rush song says, "If I choose not to decide, I still have made a choice." Choose to decide, get registered and vote!!


I know it is damn hot, but before you vote, know where they stand and then offer a helping hand! 



June 25th, 2018

Already elected target list


OK, FCPA army, we now have a target list of our first officially elected legislators for the 2019 session even though nobody has voted yet!??! How is that possible you say???

Official qualifying ended last week and the below members were re-elected or elected (2 open seats!) without opposition on June 22 at noon! Since nobody choose to run against them, they win by default!!!! There are 40 Senators, but only 20 up for election in 2018. There are 120 Representatives and they are all on the ballot every two years.

Please let us know if you have an existing relationship with any of the below newly elected legislators. If you do, congratulate them on already winning! If you don't, congratulate them on already winning!

Minority-Leader-Designate Audrey Gibson (D) Jacksonville=District 6
Sen. Lauren Book (D) Plantation=District 32
Rep. Brad Drake (R) DeFuniak Springs=District 5
Rep. Halsey BeShears (R) Monticello=District 7
Rep. Ramon Alexander (D) Tallahassee=District 8
Rep. Lorane Ausley (D) Tallahassee=District 9
Rep. Tracie Davis (D) Jacksonville=District 13
Rep. Travis Cummings (R) Orange Park=District 18
Rep. Clovis Watson (D) Gainesville=District 20
Rep. Sam Killebrew (R) Winter Haven=District 41
Rep. John Cortes (D) Kissimmee=District 43
Rep. Kamia Brown (D) Ocoee=District 45
Rep. Ben Diamond (D) St. Pete=District 68
Rep. Micheal Grant (R) Port Charlotte=District 75
Rep. Al Jacquet (D) West Palm Beach=District 88
Joseph Casello (D) Boynton Beach=District 90 (Berman open seat)
Rep. Emily Sloseberg (D) Delray Beach=District 91
Rep. Bobby DuBose (D) Ft. Lauderdale=District 94
Anika Omphroy (D) Lauderdale=District 95 (Russell open seat?)
Rep. Evan Jenne (D) Hollywood=District 99
Rep. Joe Geller (D) Dania Beach=District 100
Rep. Shev Jones (D) West Park=District 101
Rep. Sharon Pritchett (D) Miramar=District 102
Rep. Richard Stark (D) Weston=District 104
Rep. Barbara Watson (D) Miami Gardens=District 107
Speaker-Designate Jose Oliva (R) Hialeah=District 110
Minority-Leader-Designate Kionee McGhee (D) Culter Bay=District 117


June 5th, 2018

FCPA is getting noticed, everywhere!

The FCPA profile continues to rise as we blanket the state with our education campaign for nutritional rights in Florida. The "Vitamin C is Vitamin C, No Matter How You Take It" campaign has recently interviewed dozens of "open seat" legislative candidates in Orlando and Tampa. Our brochures are handed to every candidate with a brief explanation of our upcoming legislative efforts. Details will be provided later to those who are fortunate enough to get elected.

We head to Ft Lauderdale next week for more candidate interviews and to host a FCPA dinner for Rep. Shev Jones (D), who is the previous ranking D member of the House Health Care Quality Subcommittee. Help the FCPA get noticed by being there on June 12th, which will help support your patients and practice.
 


May 15th, 2018

Nutrition Education Shifts to the Board


Your lobbyist will be attending the below noticed Board of Chiropractic Medicine meeting near Orlando this Friday on behalf of the FCPA!  At this meeting, we will announce and start the education/information campaign on Chiropractic Physicians being able to deliver proper nutrition to their patients. If anybody is bored on a Friday and wants to join me, see the below details.

The Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine will hold a meeting on Friday, May 18, 2018, commencing at 8:30 a.m.  This meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites, 4955 Kyngs Health Road, Kissimmee, Florida 34746, (407) 597-4112, to which all persons are invited to attend. Participants in this public meeting should be aware that these proceedings are being recorded and that an audio file of the meeting will be posted to the board’s website.


Agenda can be found here:

http://floridaschiropracticmedicine.gov/meetings/agendas/2018/05-may/05182018-agenda.pdf


May 11th, 2018

And the Education Begins...

Your lobbyist (me!) attended the Tallahassee "Open Seat" Candidate interviews held by the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists to preach about the FCPA and our drive to reform Florida Chiropractic law.

I sat with a group of about 20 lobbyists who interviewed each candidate for about 30 minutes per. Over two days we met and talked to 15 candidates for offices ranging from Attorney General to Agriculture Commissioner, but was mostly focused on open House seats in Florida. Open House seats included House district(s) 1 & 2 near Pensacola, HD(s) 10 & 15 near Jacksonville, HD 32 in Leesburg, HD 73 near Sarasota and HD 83 in Port St. Lucie.

All of these candidate heard a brief explanation of how "Vitamin C is Vitamin C, No Matter How you Take it" and they also were handed a glossy brochure to take with them!! 

Future locations include Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville. Let the education continue!!!


May 1st, 2018

Candidate Update


Let the "Open Seat" Education Begin!!

Starting May 2nd, 2018 in Tallahassee, I will be participating in the first round of two day "open seat" legislative candidate interview(s) around the state with the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists (FAPL). Yes, even us lobbyists in Florida, have an association looking out  for our interests.

"Open seat" means no incumbent legislators will be interviewed, unless they are seeking a new position. Most of these candidates are newbies or blank slates as far as their understanding of specific issues at this stage in their desire to become legislators. What a great opportunity to educate before biases become ingrained. Each candidate will receive a detailed brochure and will hear all about the FCPA's drive to help your patients with nutrition advances in law. They will all hear Rod's tag line of "Vitamin C is Vitamin C! No matter how you take it!

While many of these candidates will not make it all the way to Tallahassee, some of them will win and they will remember the FCPA and our drive for reform. Future cities over the next 45 days for interviews include Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Ft Lauderdale and Miami.

Stay tuned and let the education begin of the next potential freshman legislative class!!


April 9th, 2018

Lobbyist update


So with the 2018 Legislative session now complete, what does your lobbyist do next?!? We hit the ground spreading the "Vitamin C is Vitamin C regardless of route" message for 2019, of course! Starting with Department of Health (DOH) - Board of Chiropractic Medicine members and then moving onto prospective legislative candidates. Education, education and more education.

On April 23, I will speak at DOHs Medical Quality Assurance Long-Range planning meeting in Tallahassee. This day long planning meeting gathers all DOH leadership, healthcare board members and professional associations. They will hear about our movement for nutrition equality and proper patient care, but they will also see the FCPA is stepping up its game and plans to be a force moving forward.

Starting in early May and running through mid June, I will be traveling the state attending the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists (FAPL) candidate interviews. FAPL targets all Florida Legislative "open" seats where there will be a brand new legislator. We invite all announced open seat candidates, both Rs and Ds, and interview them in half hour time slots over a two day period. It is a great opportunity to educate as well as introduce FCPA issues.  


Depending upon how things shake out, there could be as many as 34 of 120 open House seats (28%) and possibly 7 of 40 open Senate seats (18%).  Cities include Tallahassee, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

And this is just the beginning!! Stay tuned....


****************


End of Session Summary​

The 2018 Legislative Session came to a close on Sunday March 11th, instead of the scheduled “sine die” of Friday, March 9th. This was due to the mandatory 72 hour cooling off period for a final vote on the budget. This delay was partly due to session being engulfed by the horrific shooting deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland. Because of the tragedy and response, a bill (SB 7026) did barely pass (20-18 in the Senate and 67-50 in the House) with gun restrictions that included a 3 day waiting period, raising the minimum age to 21 to purchase, and banning bump stocks. The bill also included mental health funding, school hardening and a controversial proposal to arm teachers. Emotions were raw with the most liberal democrats complaining it didn’t go far enough and conservative republicans opposing the bill for going too far.

As noted above, the legislative Session was extended until March 11th to approve the final conference report on the $89 billion budget. The extension of session applied only to budget matters, so all other pending bills died on Friday evening when they adjourned. The 2018-19 budget was quickly received and signed by Governor Scott. It contained his smallest veto list since he became Governor of only $64 million.

The 2018 session had even fewer bills passing (196) than did the 2017 session (231), which was the smallest in over a decade. With the late focus on Parkland, many other major issues were left on the table which included; gambling, workers compensation, and sexual harassment, to name a few. However, both Senate President Joe Negron and Speaker Richard Corcoran did manage to pass their education priorities.

The good news!

After four years of trying, the Direct Primary Care bill (HB 37), that includes chiropractic physicians in the definition of primary care practitioner finally passed the legislature and is heading to Governor Scott's desk. The Governor has 15 days to act once he receives the bill. He can sign the bill, let it become law without his signature or he could veto the bill. Having Chiropractic Physicians included in the definition of primary care is a big deal. This new physician/patient relationship cuts out the insurance company and might just be the new thing in Chiropractic medicine!

PIP repeal is dead! This was another successful major battle during 2018 session; however, we can expect it to return year after year. The 2018 Senate version was better than the House since it at least included the $5,000 Med Pay provision. We had the Med Pay language amended to include non-hospital practitioners, including chiropractic physicians before it was killed in committee. The insurance companies, trial lawyers and health care practitioners will continue this battle, but at least we are at the table, throwing punches.

Work still needed!

The pursuit of nutritional equality is just beginning and as Rod always says, Vitamin C is Vitamin C regardless of route. We made good progress with some of the health care legislators, but were not quite able to get our amendment passed onto a bill. As we head into the 2019 session, we will be attempting to file our own stand-alone bill which will elevate your profession and help you help your patients!

The FCPA had a good first year lobbying in Tallahassee, but we want to have an excellent year in 2019. This means getting better organized and participating in the election process. The FCPA goal is to have a FCPA member assigned to every Senator and Representative as their Key Contact and go-to person for everything Chiropractic!

And remember, now that the 2018 session is finally over, Everyone’s "life, liberty or property are safe"!


****************


The 2018 Legislative Session started on January 9 instead of the normal beginning in March.  We have hit the ground running with bills and amendments having already passed, while some others are still pending. Some changes are good for you and some pretty bad.  Below are some of the highlights:


  • Vitamin C is Vitamin C regardless of route of administration. We have drafted and shopped an amendment to clearly authorize properly trained chiropractic physicians to have full nutritional rights.


  • We have passed an amendment to the Senate PIP repeal in regards to including chiropractic physicians in the newly created $5,000 Med Pay provisions. Still working on the House.


  • We have ensured chiropractic physicians are included in the direct primary care bills in both the House and Senate.


Remember the ole saying,” No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session!” The 2018 session is set to end on March 9th and I will be watching your back every step of the way.


Get to “Know Your Legislator”!

In the Florida Legislature, there are 40 Senators and 120 Representatives. Below are the members of the two major healthcare committees in each respective chamber and what city the legislator’s main office is located within.

Creating a relationship with every legislator is important; however, the below legislators regularly vote on topics directly impacting chiropractic issues! (Click on their names for additional information)

Senate Committee on Health Policy

Chair:
Senator Dana D. Young [R]                           Tampa
Tallahassee             (850) 487-5018                                   District     (813) 281-5507

Vice Chair:

Senator Kathleen Passidomo [R]               Naples
Tallahassee             (850) 487-5028                                    District     (239) 417-6205

Representatives:
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto [R]               Ft. Myers
Tallahassee            (850) 487-5027                                     District      (239) 338-2570
(Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto is a newly added member.)


Senator Lauren Book [D]                              Plantation
Tallahassee            (850) 487-5032                                     District      (954) 424-6674

Senator Dorothy L.  Hukill [R]                    Port Orange
Tallahassee             (850) 487-5014                                     District      (386) 304-7630

Senator Travis Hutson [R]                           Palm Coast
Tallahassee              (850) 487-5007                                    District      (386) 446-7610

Senator Bill Montford [D]                             Tallahassee
Tallahassee              (850) 487-5003                                    District       (850) 487-5003

Senator Bobby Powell [D]                             West Palm Beach
Tallahassee              (850) 487-5030                                    District       (561) 650-6880

 
House Health & Human Services Committee

Chair:

Cummings, W. Travis [R]                             Orange Park

Tallahassee              (850) 717-5018                                    District     (904) 278-5761

Vice Chair:

Santiago, David [R]                                       Deltona 

Tallahassee               (850) 717-5027                                   District     (386) 575-0387

Democratic Ranking Member:

DuBose, Bobby B. [D]                                    Ft. Lauderdale

Tallahassee               (850) 717-5094                                   District      (954) 467-4206

Representatives:
Rep. Kamia Brown [D]                                  Ocoee
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5045                                   District      (407) 905-3806

Berman, Lori [D]                                             Boynton Beach
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5090                                   District      (561) 374-7850 

Brodeur, Jason T. [R]                                     Sanford
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5028                                   District      (407) 302-4800 

Burton, Colleen [R]                                         Lakeland
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5040                                   District      (863) 413-2640

Davis, Tracie [D]                                              Jacksonville
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5013                                   District      (904) 353-2180

Grant, James "J.W." [R]                                Tampa
Tallahassee               (850) 717-5064                                   District      (813) 265-6272

Grant, Michael [R]                                          Port Charlotte
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5075                                  District      (941) 613-0914

Hardemon, Roy [D]                                        Miami
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5108                                  District      (305) 795-1224

Harrell, Gayle B. [R]                                       Stuart
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5083                                  District      (772) 221-4011

Magar, MaryLynn "ML" [R]                      Hobe Sound
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5082                                  District      (772) 545-3481

Massullo, MD, Ralph E. [R]                         Beverly Hills
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5034                                  District      (352) 527-4510

Pigman, Cary [R]                                              Sebring
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5055                                  District      (863) 386-6000

Silvers, David [D]                                             West Palm Beach
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5087                                  District      (561) 357-4824

Stevenson, Cyndi [R]                                      St. Augustine
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5017                                   District     (904) 823-2300

White, Frank [R]                                               Pensacola
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5002                                   District     (850) 595-0467

Williams, Patricia H. [D]                                Ft. Lauderdale
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5092                                  District      (954) 202-3201

Yarborough, Clay [R]                                       Jacksonville
Tallahassee                (850) 717-5012                                  District      (904) 723-5300


 

FCPA in Tallahassee @ the Capitol